1 min read

An alternative model for monetizing block space (and replacing tokens)

Basically, all smart-contract-enabled blockchains operate according to the same business model.

  • Pay transaction fees in network tokens, which go to miners/stakers.
  • Smart contracts / dApps release tokens to accrue value to developers.

I've been thinking about a new model: a subscription-based blockchain. Users would pay a subscription fee, with validators retaining a percentage. The lion's share of this percentage would then be directed toward dApp developers.

This model could yield several promising outcomes:

  • A viral network effect: A single desirable smart contract could pull in subscribers, subsequently attracting more developers due to the potential for earning a portion of the fees. This, in turn, can draw more subscribers, creating a positive feedback loop.
  • Improved monetization for developers: No need to release a token or add a forkable fee. Now it's possible to receive direct revenue from your smart contract (tokens are possible but by no means a necessity)
  • Superior experiences for users: As developers strive to create the most popular and widely-used smart contracts, the end user benefits from the competition.

These ideas could be implemented on Ethereum by creating a closed ecosystem where contracts are only available to paying system users.

There are a lot of outstanding questions...

  • Could the subscription fee deter potential dApp users due to a high entry barrier?
  • How would the optimal subscription fee be determined? Is there a way to incentivize increased usage in a Sybil-resistant manner?
  • Assuming this model was built on Ethereum, what would be the best route toward widespread adoption? Which dApp could best catalyze the network effect?

And no, we are not building this. I find it interesting and wanted to share.